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Best Big Game Cartridge....

June 2003 Poll:

Best Big Game Cartridge....

Compared to 60 years ago, hunters today have a huge range of calibers and cartridges from which to select a rifle. With all this selection, which cartridge is the best all around for most big game?

It was impossible to list every possible cartridge in a given caliber. So, for example, 7mm means all possible 7mm cartridges (Rem S.A. Ultra Mag, Win Short Mag, Rem Mag, Wthby Mag, etc).

Unfortunately we had to leave a few calibers off (not enough space) such as the 6mm, 260, 357 Mag, and 416. If we left your favorite off, please vote for "Other" and post your comment below.

saskie's picture
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Location: West Carleton, Ottawa, Canada
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Best Big Game Cartridge....

Although not my personal favourite, I voted for the 30-06 out of sheer versatility. The 300 would be second, but it's getting a little "biggish" for smaller big-game.

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Best Big Game Cartridge....

Had to go with the 300. "Big game" is such a broad range but I thought of the smallest calibre I would be comfortable hunting brown bear and grizzly. I think the 30-06 is best for 95% of the available big game but I would be timid to take it as the lone rifle on a brown bear hunt.(or any other animal that wants to eat me as much as I want to eat him)

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Best Big Game Cartridge....

I went with the 30-06 too for the same reason as Saskie. Chester is right though, I would not use it on brown bear. For that I would step up to something with more punch.

When caliber discussions come up, I invariably hear people say something like a 338 or larger is too "big" for deer or antelope. I don't understand this statement. Clearly you can pick too small a rifle, but how can you pick too big a rifle?

Other than recoil (which can detriment accuracy if you flinch) and the possibility of larger spread, I don't see a disadvantage to using a larger caliber magnum round on smaller big-game. Anybody have thoughts on this?

For the sake of arguement assume that you shoot as well (hit the kill zone 95% of the time) with a 243 as with a 338 Mag is there still an advantage to using the 243 over the 338 Mag on smaller big-game?

[ This Message was edited by: bitmasher on 2003-06-15 22:57 ]

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Location: Colorado
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Best Big Game Cartridge....

I agree, bitmasher. The only detriment to larger calibers is the recoil.

Say you have a .458 Win Mag, shoot it really well, and don't have any recoil-related problems with it. Is it "too big" to use on pronghorn? OF COURSE NOT!

I mean, what's the worst that would happen? Instead of a .243 or maybe .270 sized hole through the animal you get a .458 sized hole. Big deal! It's not like you've damaged a lot of meat or anything!

Yeah, of course, it's bigger than you really need, but so what? It doesn't hurt anything.

[ This Message was edited by: donmillion on 2003-06-16 10:01 ]

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Location: Centeral Montana
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Best Big Game Cartridge....

My vote gose to the 338 win mag,it adds that little more use on bigger game,it will take deer with 210 grain loads,and kill elk and brown bear with 250 grain,but then again i'm from montana and the game here is bigger than back east.Grin

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Best Big Game Cartridge....

I think it depends on what state you are from. I am from Nebraska and there are elk but they don't get hunted much. In Nebraska for deer and antelope, I would pick the 2506 or the 270.
But if I was to only have one rifle I would have a 300 mag. the 7mm is awesome but not quite the bite as the 300!!
But I have had a lot of older guys tell me that there has been a lot more big game taken with a 3006 than any other cal.
COOL!

Anonymous
Best Big Game Cartridge....

My pick is the 338 Win mag, when you figure in the BEAR FACTOR. The only negative thing about this pick, is the recoil factor and the fact that many hunters wouldn't be able to hit their mark with it I am affraid. Same goes for my favorite, the 300 Win mag. Recoil is a big factor for many hunters!

I must vote hands down, for the tried and proven for 80 years now........The "30-06 caliber" as being the caliber that most hunters are able to shoot with authority in the field. Not to mention that this caliber has a rainbow of various weight bullets, to cover the entire gamet of hunting species of one's choice.

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Best Big Game Cartridge....

How much does the 308 get used over there? What are your opinions of how it compares to the 30-06? My ideas are that it is almost as good until projectile weights get above 180gr when the 30-06 works better. When combined with a more compact and lighter rifle I will vote for the 308. I hunt pigs, feral goats and deer with my 308. The deer I hunt are the Sambar(3rd largest deer in the world after moose and wapiti)as well as red deer and fallow. The 308 is considered light for sambar but its where you hit them not what you hit them with that counts.

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Best Big Game Cartridge....

Got to be 3006 just do anything round.

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Location: Missouri/Arkansas
Joined: 08/21/2003
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Best Big Game Cartridge....

As you can imagine, I am a big, big fan of the 7mm Remington Magnum, and of course, the 150-160 grain bullets are awesome. 150 grain bullets have been chronographed at up to 3300 fps and the 160 and 162 grain have achieved velocities up to 3165 fps, so the reach 300 yards with as much punch as many other popular rounds develop at the muzzle. Their performance on big game is very close to that of the 300 magnums.

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